Mortara on Pole for Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race
Edoardo Mortara kept himself on course for an historic Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix double when he took pole position on Saturday morning for the afternoon’s Qualification Race.
With the second qualifying session having been rescheduled for Saturday morning following delays to the program on Friday, Mortara kept himself on top of the timesheets as drivers improved on their early benchmark efforts.
Despite two red flag interruptions – caused when Adderly Fong and then Yuji Kunimoto crashed in the Solitude Esses in separate incidents – Mortara delivered a lap that demoted Signature team-mate Laurens Vanthoor from the top of the timesheets with eight minutes remaining.
That effort was enough to keep him ahead of a late lap from Valtteri Bottas which sealed him second, with Vanthoor eventually ending up third and Daniel Abt fourth.
Afterwards, Mortara admitted that his car had not been perfect. “Every time in the past I have missed pole position, and now we have finally done it,” said the Italian. “It was a big challenge today and I’ve had to push with all I’ve got – because I was struggling a lot with the car, especially in the mountain section, where normally it is pretty fast.”
Bottas was much happier to have got himself up to second, having brushed the barriers early in the session and needing to come into the pits for repairs.
“I touched the wall slightly, got a puncture and at the next corner I went wide too,” said the Prema driver. “That broke the car a little bit, so I had to come in – and afterwards the steering was not straight. But I still managed to get this time so I am happy.”
There were several other crashes – with Jean-Eric Vergne, Will Buller, Oliver Webb, Yuji Kunimoto and Antonio Felix da Costa among those to hit the barriers.
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